from 7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction, written for Writer’s Digest.
7. Backstory. Every single character gets one, including the guy who shows up once to deliver the mail. It can be as little as a sentence or as much as a subplot running through the entire narrative. The supporting cast is what makes a great book and what gives a series long legs.
Coda: This is going to sound self-evident, but lately I have read far too many novels in which I cannot find a single character to like, to identify with, to root for. Have at least one person in your book whom the reader can cheer on. If you don’t, you might not lose anyone else but for sure you’ll lose me.
Read the whole piece here on Writer’s Digest.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.